Last Updated on Thursday, 11 March 2021, 17:11 by Denis Chabrol
The opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Wednesday evening defending former Commissioner of Lands and Surveys, Trevor Benn who remains in police custody.
The APNU+AFC said Mr. Benn did not receive any money from land transactions on behalf of the State. “It is an established fact that Mr. Benn did not personally benefit from the sale of any lands. All monies paid for lands were paid into the State’s coffers,” the coalition said in a statement.
Instead, the coalition described Mr. Benn as a “consummate professional” who has served with organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme.
The APNU+AFC accused the governing People’s Progressive Party of squandering monies earned by Benn and arresting him to distract the public. “In an effort to divert attention from their squander mania and to continue their campaign of persecuting Afro-Guyanese public servants they have now arrested Mr. Benn on spurious and completely trumped up charges,” the coalition said.
The APNU+AFC reiterated that Afro-Guyanese are being targeted unfairly by the administration with the aim of fomenting strife. “We wish to caution that the continued harassment and victimization of Afro-Guyanese professionals as well as supporters for the APNU+AFC is inimical to good governance and will further exacerbate racial and political tensions,” the combined grouping said.
Mr. Benn was arrested on Wednesday for questioning about several transactions involving land at Ogle, East Coast Demerara and vested to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), the holding company for State assets.
Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has also sued Mr. Benn concerning the sale of a plot of land allegedly below market value and a higher valuation by the Ministry of Finance. The court has been asked to find that the entire transaction with Wilfred Brandford trading as Car Care is illegal, null and void because Mr. Benn was never legal authorised by then President David Granger to sell State lands.